News

Man hears how driving on ice changed a woman's life

He drove high on ice.
He drove high on ice.

KRISTAL Johnston's voice barely wavered as she told a Rockhampton courtroom how the actions of one man changed her life, after he made the foolish decision to drive while high on methamphetamines.

That man, Mathew Pinch, cried throughout his appearance in Rockhampton's Supreme Court, where he pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs, possessing items and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm.

Since October 9 2014 Miss Johnston has been paying for the consequences of Pinch's decision to drive while he was high on ice, which he became addicted to while working on Curtis Island.

Justice Duncan McMeekin said he was the third person that week he had dealt with who told him they became addicted to ice while working on Curtis Island.

"The simple fact is, as grievous as Miss Johnston's injuries are, it's a miracle you didn't kill her, someone else, or yourself," he said.

The court heard that Pinch had been driving for around 35 minutes before he reached the Gladstone-Benaraby Rd around 5.30am, crossed to the wrong side of the road, and ploughed into Miss Johnston's car.

Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips told the court the doctor who did Pinch's blood test said he had the second highest drug reading he had ever seen in a living driver.

Miss Johnston, 33, was working as a firefighter in Gladstone and was up for a promotion to station officer and was also a gifted athlete before the accident, competing in rugby league, squash, body sculpting and marathon running.

Her physical injuries- which led to an extended stay in the intensive care unit, two surgeries on her knee and extensive rehabilitation- have meant she has been unable to progress in her career.

She also had to postpone her wedding because she and her partner had to use their savings to cover her medical bills, and postpone having children because carrying a baby would be detrimental to her knee injury.

She got emotional as she told the court experts have predicted she may never return to her pre-trauma ability.

"Mathew. I am a good person, I am an innocent person, and your actions have impacted on my life, my family's lives and my friend's lives," she said.

"I understand you were under the influence of illicit drugs at the time of the accident. I also understand that addiction is a disease.

"It is my request that you access rehabilitation so you don't hurt or jeopardise the lives of anyone else."

Defence barrister Maree Willey said Pinch moved to Gladstone from Victoria in February 2013 to work at Curtis Island and began to use meth to stay awake, after finding the work stressful and demanding.

"Prior to working on Curtis Island he was not a user of drugs," she said.

Pinch resigned in July 2014 and received a payout, but after the money ran out he was approached by associates from his work about becoming a middle man in their drug operation.

For around a month or two he was involved in that trafficking operation, making no financial profit but taking some drugs for himself instead.

He also exchanged some meth for stolen property, including a camera and firearms.

He was sentenced to three years jail for trafficking, one year for possession and four and a half years for dangerous driving, to be served concurrently.

The sentence will be suspended after serving 18 months, with an operational period of five years.

His license was also disqualified absolutely.

Topics:  crime gladstone gladstonecourt gladstonemagistratescourt rockhampton



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

WATCH: Amazing creature caught on camera at Agnes Water

Sarah Cassell took a video of this whale at Agnes Water.

Early season visitor for Agnes Water

Shock as miner wastes $110K redundancy

Methamphetamine also known as crystal meth

Addiction spurred by redundancy from mine job and shoulder injury

Police reveal identity of violent Rocky prisoners on the run

IDENTITIES of two violent prisoners that have escaped revealed.

Local Partners

Battle raging over money to fund CQ roads

Funding for CQ's road upgrades is being ripped out of the region leaving our projects languishing at the starting line says QLD Minister.


Win a $1000

GROCERY GIFT CARD!
Learn More

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

MIRANDA Kerr and her husband-to-be, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, are set to marry today in decidedly downgrade style with a backyard wedding.

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!